Limonite Mapping With Landsat Multispectral Scanner Data at Cripple Creek, Colorado

  1. Keenan Lee,
  2. Daniel H. Knepper Jr.,
  3. Fred A. Kruse,
  4. Ronald W. Marrs and
  5. Nancy M. Milton
  1. Keenan Lee

Published Online: 15 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118669877.ch2

Remote Sensing in Exploration Geology: Golden, Colorado to Washington, D.C., June 30-July 8, 1989

Remote Sensing in Exploration Geology: Golden, Colorado to Washington, D.C., June 30-July 8, 1989

How to Cite

Lee, K. (1989) Limonite Mapping With Landsat Multispectral Scanner Data at Cripple Creek, Colorado, in Remote Sensing in Exploration Geology: Golden, Colorado to Washington, D.C., June 30-July 8, 1989 (eds K. Lee, D. H. Knepper, F. A. Kruse, R. W. Marrs and N. M. Milton), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1002/9781118669877.ch2

Author Information

  1. U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1989

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875905648

Online ISBN: 9781118669877

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Keywords:

  • Cripple Creek;
  • Landsat Multispectral Scanners (MSS);
  • Limonite anomalies;
  • Pennsylvanian and Permian Fountain Formation;
  • Pikes Peak Granite

Summary

Sulfide mineral deposits commonly have limonitic outcrops that can be a guide to exploration. The Landsat Multispectral Scanners (MSS) have already acquired data over most of the world's land surface that can be used to map limonite. By knowing the spectral reflectance properties of limonite and other common surface materials, a geologist using remote sensing can interactively process the digital images to produce a limonite anomaly map.

A Landsat 1 MSS image was processed for an area around the Cripple Creek-Victor mining district in the southern Rocky Mountains. Ratios of the four spectral bands were computed, transformed into a color-space, and the color coordinates used to produce maps of limonitic areas. Interactive interpretation refined the limonite maps to a final exploration map.

Limonitic areas on the exploration map correspond to redbeds, maturely weathered biotite-rich gneisses, pink granites, and hydrothermally altered and mineralized rocks. Redbeds can be identified by their outcrop pattern, but field checking is required to discriminate hydrothermal limonite from weathered mafic minerals and pink granite. In areas around the Cripple Creek-Victor mining district that are relatively free of trees, limonitic areas on the map correspond well with areas of hydrothermal mineralization, primarily goldsilver tellurides.